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Medication and your kidney health

See why medication plays an important role in your kidney health and learn which over-the-counter drugs to avoid.

A variety of pills in different colors, shapes and sizes.

Medication basics

Be sure to take your medication on time and as prescribed. Missing doses could lead to health complications and even kidney failure. If you experience any unwanted side effects from your medications, bring them up with your doctor. Do not skip doses or go off the medication altogether.

Over-the-counter medications to avoid

The following medications are not safe for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD):

  • Aspirin (Bayer)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin)

These drugs, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can harm your kidneys. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a recommended pain medication for people living with CKD.1 Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any medication that wasn’t prescribed to you.


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